Championship legacy puts pressure on Old Mill teams

March 30, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Ron Evans feels the pressure.

Despite the fact that his Old Mill boys and girls outdoor track teams have combined for 12 state championships, 26 region titles and 27 county crowns since the Millersville school opened its doors in 1976, Evans still can't relax.

And he has Mike Marcus to thank for it.

Marcus took over the Patriots' indoor track program last winter and in his first year at the helm led Old Mill to its first sweep of the team titles.

Under Evans's guidance, the Patriots managed to sweep the outdoor state championships twice in 1984 and 1989, but never indoors.

"Mike really put the pressure on us," said Evans, whose boys team is seeking its sixth straight county and region crowns. "He's got us really gunning for both championships."

The Patriots enter the season with plenty of weapons on both sides. Old Mill's girls team, which has won 13 consecutive county championships and eight straight region titles, will have to get past defending state champion Eleanor Roosevelt if the Patriots wish to earn their seventh state championship.

Senior Raina Domneys, who emerged as state champion last season in both the long jump and triple jump, will lead the Patriots along with Martise Moore (sprints, long jump, relays) and Jenny Porter -- Old Mill's school record holder in the 800 run.

The Patriots have four well-qualified high jumpers in Sarah Kirby, Latashia Holloway, Kristen Wimbrow and Dana Dawson, and the Pats aren't hurting in the relays with Erica Davis, Beth Walker, LaNita Talley, Lori Wimbrow, Carrie Klimes and Denise King carrying the baton.

Jessica Davis will handle the distance events for Old Mill while sophomores Cathy Porter and Katie Mack represent the Pats in the shot put and discus.

State champion high jumper Todd Singleton is back for Old Mill's boys team, which finished third at last year's state meet. He'll be joined by Kevin McKinney, the indoor state champ in the 55 --, Delvell Johnson, the indoor state champion in the high jump, and Jason Reckner, a state champion cross country runner.

Eric Voss and Anthony Washington will represent the Pats in the pole vault and Dante Hudson and Richard Queen will run the hurdles. Done Stinespring and Nate Oliver will cover the shot put and the discus while Chris Long gives Old Mill some hope in the distance events.

The Patriots have plenty of depth in the relay events with Willie Walker, Ish Soumah, Ron Pennington, Karl Humberson, Eric Gifford and Ronnie Chapman.

South River's boys team is loaded and Seahawks coach Scott Baker is eyeing the Class 2A state title.

Senior Danny Zamarripa, the county, region and state champion indoors in the 1,600, can pick up some big points in the distance events along with Jack Longley and James Knode. Senior Craig Hopkins, last year's county champ in the 200, should challenge in all of the sprint events.

South River is well-covered in the field events with senior Steve Cadiz working the pole vault and Adrian Newman throwing the shot put. Junior Russell Tongue, who starred on South River's basketball team this winter, gives the Seahawks added depth in the high jump and triple jump.

"We didn't lose anyone from the indoor season and we gained Russell [Tongue], so I hope to be right up there with Oakland Mills," said Baker. "Oakland Mills is good but I think we can compete with them."

Baker isn't as excited about his girls team's chances and said he will "try to maximize their individual performances."

Some of the individuals Baker will focus on include Erin Moorcones in the middle distances, junior Heather Mack and sophomores Jess King and Colleen McLaughlin in the distances and Jen Smith in the high jump.

Sprinter-rich North County still has the speed on both sides, but Knights coach Ed Harte is hoping his team can deviate from its one-dimensional norm.

"We want to focus on being a total team in every event," said Harte. "Speed is never a problem for us but this year we have a good nucleus of throwers and middle-distance people, so we're really stressing team

placements where in the past we focused more on individuals."

Dennis Lomax, Topper Ellis and Troy Fowlkes lead the Knights boys sprinting corps while Tamiko Mack and Kenda Johnson provide the speed for the girls team.

Agnes Osinski and Tracy Jennings will handle the middle distances for the Knights' girls team, while Chris Connelly, Danny Zavorka and Patrick Artes do the same for the boys.

Annapolis' girls team has two of the best distance runners in the area in junior Kristin Nicolini and freshman Alison Ross, but the Panthers lack the depth needed to win in the postseason.

Juniors Keshia Herndon and Kaleya Barnes both can run the sprints and hurdles but whether they can take the Panthers to a new level is yet to be seen.

The Panthers' boys team is led by sophomore distance runner Ian Ross, senior high jumper Alex Perdue and a sprinting corps that includes senior Tyriq Galloway and sophomore Mike Parker. Senior Kevin Belt will represent Annapolis in the 100 and 300 hurdles.

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